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Thread: to mean well

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    #1

    to mean well

    What is the difference between "to mean well by somebody" and "to mean well for somebody"?
    In which situations should one or the other be used?

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    #2

    Re: to mean well

    Quote Originally Posted by AirbusA321 View Post
    What is the difference between "to mean well by somebody" and "to mean well for somebody"?
    In which situations should one or the other be used?
    I suppose they mean the same thing, but I usually just hear "to mean well" without the "by" or "for":

    - He means well, but he doesn't know what he's talking about.

    - She made a mess of things, but she meant well.

    We usually use it when someone has good intentions but isn't helping.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #3

    Re: to mean well

    I don't think those phrases have any uses at all. Where did you hear them?

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    #4

    Re: to mean well

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I don't think those phrases have any uses at all. . . .
    I don't, either.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #5

    Re: to mean well

    "We believe they mean well by us and we mean well by them," said Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India's foreign secretary.
    http://www.ndtv.com/opinion/presiden...nalist-1652909

    You talk too smooth to mean well by anybody.
    https://books.google.de/books?isbn=8026864433

    “Yes! Things are very hard in the country. Our government meant very well for Nigerians, this is not to punish people. It is because things have gone bad in the past,” he said.
    http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/06/e...s-vp-osinbajo/

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    #6

    Re: to mean well

    Quote Originally Posted by AirbusA321 View Post
    What is the difference between "to mean well by somebody" and "to mean well for somebody"?
    In which situations should one or the other be used?
    PS - You might be thinking of wishing someone well or thinking well of someone:

    - I said goodbye and wished her well.

    - He does a great job. We all think well of him.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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